Despite riding a wave of strong support once again, Tommy Fleetwood lost ground on Brian Harman in the third round of The Open
Tommy Fleetwood knows what’s needed to win The 151st Open, but he also knows it’s out of his hands.
The Englishman carded a 71 to stay on 5-under par, seven shots adrift of the runaway leader Brian Harman who looked imperious on day three at Hoylake.
Fleetwood was frustrated with Saturday’s outcome, but not disappointed with the many “good things” he did while playing with the American in the final group on Merseyside.
“There were parts of the round where I lost my swing a little bit, didn’t feel comfortable,” he said. (I) hit a lot of good putts, just didn’t convert any chances.
“It’s very frustrating now, but in time over the course of tonight, I’ll look at the positives of what were and try and move on to tomorrow.
“It really is down to Brian,” he added. “Take him out of it, two away from the next best contender, so you go out, play well, and shoot the best score of the day, then you know there’s one person that’s left. That’s the way you’ve just got to look at it.
“A lot of good stuff. And again, having Sundays and low rounds to draw on is always something positive.”
Asked if a 63 would do the trick at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Fleetwood said he’d take it. He carded this very score in the final round of the US Open when coming tied for fifth at Los Angeles Country Club.
His fellow European Jon Rahm took this amount of blows in a stunning display to hop up the leaderboard to 6-under – the low round of the week thus far.
Testing conditions were expected on day three, but Fleetwood couldn’t capitalise on “a pretty soft” golf course. His previous best finish at The Open Championship was tied for second at Royal Portrush in 2019.
“Level par is not a disastrous score,” he said. “It just feels worse because I felt like I did have chances and could have built on that.
“It wasn’t that bad. It’s not like I’ve sat here and shot 5, 6-over and I was really terrible, so there was a lot of good stuff, and there’s still another day to go tomorrow.”
After shooting a 69, Harman leads by five shots from Cameron Young. Fleetwood sits tied for fourth with four other players.
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